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Want to know the key to a successful relationship? Start with a friendship

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Over the last month or two I’ve been working with a few people who are ready to be married. One in particular has recently met a woman that he really likes. By all accounts she sounds like a great young lady, and they have lots in common.

I’ve encouraged him to go slow with this relationship and to really get to know her before he moves to the next level of becoming intimate with her. In fact, I’ve suggested that they spend lots of time on dates where they just talk. From his account,s it’s clear that there is chemistry and physical attraction.

But he ruins many of his relationships because he acts on physical attraction too quickly. Once that happens, he loses interest and finds himself in the same position of looking for the right one again.

This time he’s looking at friendship. Friendship is the basis of a successful relationship. You want to be able to laugh and talk to this person so that you really know what you’re getting into.

On last week’s podcast episode I talked with Dr. Jeff Gardere,  America’s psychologist, as seen on CNN or the Real Housewives series.

One of the most fascinating pieces of our conversation to me was the importance of creating a foundation of friendship on which to build an intimate relationship.

In a world of instant gratification, we can easily focus too much on the love connection (or the sexual attraction connection). In doing so, we miss out on the opportunity to grow a real interest in somebody that isn’t simplistic and based in how attracted we feel to one another in the moment. By skipping this crucial step, it is easy to mis-categorize people as either being “friend-material” or “dating-material.”  

What if the two aren’t mutually exclusive at all?

After all, why would you plan to spend your foreseeable future with someone you wouldn’t want to be friends with?

So next time you get assigned to the so-called friend zone, maybe you’ll be able to see that as a positive instead of a roadblock.

Take a listen and shift your perspective on how a solid foundation of friendship can add to a relationship!

Share in the comments, have you ever had a relationship grow out of a friendship? Or regretted one that could have?

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